OSU Extension Blogs

DCWFN - Farm tour and work party (medicinal herb farm and garlic cleaning)

Small Farms Events - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 2:35pm
Thursday, August 3, 2017 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Viriditas Wild Garden & Foundhorn Gardens, Days Creek, OR
Farm tour and work party (medicinal herb farm and garlic cleaning)

 For more info click HERE


Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Rock ‘n’ Roll

Terra - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 11:53am

By Lanesha Reagan

Loud beeps echo down the hall in the Women’s building, signaling the start of a machine the size of a small car that looks like a mechanical spider. I sit in a seat above its many legs, and my heart drops as it goes silent and lifts me higher. A moment later the machine — which scientists call the Six Degree-of-Freedom (6-DOF) motion platform — begins to vibrate and move up and down, from side to side and forward and back.

Luckily, I am strapped in with a seatbelt. The constant vibration doesn’t shake me right out of my seat. However, I do get a tingling in my back. That’s a clue to the purpose of this facility in Jay Kim’s lab. He’s busy trying to solve a major occupational health issue that has shaken the trucking, mining, construction and agriculture industries for decades.

Kiana Kia, a Ph.D. student in Industrial Engineering and Statistics, is studying whole body vibration and occupational safety in Jay Kim’s lab. (Photo: Theresa Hogue)

About 75 percent of workers who operate heavy machinery in these fields suffer from muscle and joint pain. In 2016, Kim and collaborators at the University of Washington and Northeastern University reported that low-back pain was the most prevalent of all the possible musculoskeletal ailments experienced by these drivers.

Kim is an assistant professor of Environmental and Occupational Health in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University. His study is funded by The Alpha Foundation and aims to evaluate the effects of whole-body vibration (WBV) exposure on low-back pain, biomechanical loading and physiological stresses in the musculoskeletal system.

“The study itself originated from a lot of field based epidemiological studies,” says Kim. “They have shown significant levels of exposure to whole-body vibration from moving vehicles, including semi trucks, heavy vehicles, vehicles in construction, mining and agriculture, as well as metro buses. Those exposures have been associated with various adverse health outcomes, including musculoskeletal disorders, especially in the low-back and neck regions.”

Back Injuries Are Prevalent

Studying the impacts of such exposure is only one aspect of Kim’s current study. Another is understanding why long-term exposure is creating these injuries. “We know that there are some links, but we don’t know the physiological evidence and exact underlying injury mechanisms that explain the association,” says Kim.

Legal regulations on exposure limits to whole-body vibration exist in the European Union, but the United States does not have such policies. With only recommendations and no consequences to employers, there is little push to limit workers’ exposure in the U.S. Injury compensation claims for musculoskeletal disorders account for the single largest component among all occupational injuries and illnesses in the country. According to Oregon’s Occupational Public Health Program, more than 1,700 cases of musculoskeletal disorders were reported in the transportation, construction, agriculture, and mining industries in 2015.

Near the University of Washington, where Kim received his Ph.D., one large transportation district is paying upwards of $3 million a year in compensation claims regarding lower back pain alone. With self-insured organizations footing the bill, the benefits of implementing new engineering technologies to reduce injuries could exceed the costs.

Jay Kim, left, is an assistant professor in Environmental and Occupational Health at Oregon State University. Kiana Kia, right, is studying whole body vibration and occupational health in Kim’s lab. (Photo: Theresa Hogue)

Bringing something new into the mix, Kim and his team simulate working conditions based on profiles, actual measurements made in mines, construction sites and other locations around the world. The more than 1,200 hours of profiles track the paths of vibrations that drivers experience during their shifts. Some are from as far away as mines in South America.

“The really unique thing is that most lab-based studies have been based upon random vibration or unrealistic sinusoidal (repetitive cycles) vibration,” says Kim. “But here, because we have the large-scale motion platform built with electromagnetic actuators, we can actually feed the vibrations measured from the field to the motion platform. So we can replicate exactly the same motion and vibration that you would feel if you were operating large-scale, heavy vehicles in the mining, construction and agriculture industries and all the way to a passenger car.”

All Shook Up

Kim can program the 6-DOF motion platform to simulate how operators move in all six directions during a work shift. Test subjects experience what it would be like if they were in control of heavy machinery at a mine or in a passenger car on a rough road.

While navigating through potholes or unpaved roads, drivers accept the risk of low-back pain throughout their eight-to-eleven-hour shifts. Prolonged exposure to those types of driving conditions may lead to musculoskeletal pain. The average age of truck drivers is going up, and the industry faces the difficulties of engaging workers to enter a field where their health may be at risk.

One of the main objectives of Kim’s study is to provide physiological evidence that can explain the association between whole-body-vibration exposure and musculoskeletal disorders, especially in the neck and low-back regions. His goal is to contribute to improved engineering interventions (such as seating and machinery design) and better occupational health and well-being for workers.

Volunteer Opportunities

While field studies typically generate data from drivers, Kim is recruiting test subjects for his laboratory-based studies from the university community and the city of Corvallis. Subjects cannot be pregnant, must be between the ages of 21 and 49 and have no current musculoskeletal issues or low-back disability. During the study, subjects will buckle into a truck seat mounted on the motion stimulator for two 2-hour sessions per day. In total, participants will be in the lab for eight hours a day over four days.

As I was being shaken by the 6-DOF firsthand, the feeling that I could tip off at any moment caused my stomach to drop, like it does on carnival rides. However, imagine that workers have to feel that intensity and pressure on their body for up to eleven hours. Going into work daily and knowing my body would be going through that strenuous experience would be difficult. It was exhilarating for five minutes, but five hours would be a whole other story.

People interested in being involved in this study can contact Kim, director of the Occupational Ergonomics and Biomechanics Lab, at oeb.lab@oregonstate.edu.

Editor’s note: Lanesha Reagan is a senior in English from Snohomish, Washington. She is also a member of the OSU Division 1 Women’s Volleyball team.

The post Rock ‘n’ Roll appeared first on Terra Magazine.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Dry Farming Collaborative Field Day

Small Farms Events - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 2:35pm
Tuesday, August 1, 2017 (all day event)

More than ten Dry Farming Collaboratize members will be hosting tours for our field days in August! Come learn about dry farming, see crops (tomatoes, potatoes, squash, melon, zucchini, dry beans, corn) grown without any supplemental irrigation in the field.


  • August 1st - Corvallis
  • August 8th - Springfield
  • August 15th - Southern Oregon
  • August 22nd - Elmira/Veneta
  • August 29th - Philomath/Corvallis

For more details about each day or to register visit http://smallfarms.oregonstate.edu/dry-farm/dry-farming-collaborative

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

New video shows how underwater robotics contest prepares kids for technical jobs

Breaking Waves - Tue, 07/25/2017 - 4:03pm

July 25, 2017

A new video shows how Oregon students are preparing for technical careers by building underwater robots for an annual competition in which they demonstrate their skills in front of engineers and scientists.

Contestants in MATE ROV competition learn engineering and problem solving skills. (photo by Daniel Cespedes)

The video, which was produced by Oregon State University with funding from Oregon Sea Grant, was filmed during the 2017 Oregon Regional MATE ROV Competition, which Oregon Sea Grant coordinates. It is one of about 30 regional contests around the world in which students qualify for an annual international competition.

Contestants operate their underwater devices remotely, and sometimes with a video monitor. (photo by Daniel Cespedes)

“Our goal is to really get students interested in science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM — and connect them with marine technicians and engineers and marine scientists that utilize remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs,” Tracy Crews, the manager of Oregon Sea Grant’s marine education program, said in the video.

Contestants often have to troubleshoot in real time. (photo by Daniel Cespedes)

Thirty-one teams from Oregon participated in this year’s competition, which was held in April at the pool at the Lincoln City Community Center. More than 200 students from elementary school through college demonstrated devices they built.

“For students who struggle with conventional school, it’s a chance for them to really shine,” Melissa Steinman, a teacher at Waldport High School, said in the video.

A new theme is chosen each year. This year’s theme highlighted the role of remotely operated vehicles in monitoring the environment and supporting industries in port cities. Like port managers and marine researchers, the students guided their robots through tasks that simulated identifying cargo containers that fell overboard, repairing equipment, and taking samples of hypothetically contaminated sediment and shellfish. Students also presented marketing materials they created and gave engineering presentations.

“A couple of teams, they just nailed it,” Ken Sexton, one of the judges and owner of The Sexton Corp., said in the video.

Students were also tasked with creating mock companies, thinking like entrepreneurs and working together to “manufacture, market, and sell” their robots. The students gained project management and communication skills as they managed a budget, worked as a team, brainstormed solutions and delivered presentations.

“Some of my team members are really, really good at programming, now,” Natalie DeWitt, a senior at Newport High School, said in the video. “And we have one kid who is really good at using CAD software design, now. And they actually had internships over the summer … those experiences we had in robotics gave us qualifications for jobs that we wouldn’t have had before.”

“It’s really good problem-solving, teamwork, just everything all together. It really helps … you have better skills for the future,” said Kyle Brown, a junior at Bandon High School.

Photos from the 2017 contest in Oregon are on Oregon Sea Grant’s Flickr page at c.kr/s/aHskYZdMiF

Volunteer scuba divers helped out at Oregon’s 6th annual Marine Advanced Technology Education Remotely Operated Vehicle competition at the pool at the Lincoln City Community Center. (photo by Daniel Cespedes)

The post New video shows how underwater robotics contest prepares kids for technical jobs appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Summer 2017 “Shop at the Dock” tours in Newport and Warrenton show consumers how to buy in-season seafood

Breaking Waves - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 9:52am

Have you ever wanted to buy seafood right from the boat, but weren’t sure what questions to ask or what to look for? Have you ever stood at a seafood market staring at all the choices but not been sure what was local or in season?

If so, this summer is your chance to learn more about buying seafood. Experts with Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon State University Extension Service will demystify the process during free, guided dockside tours in Newport and Warrenton that connect seafood lovers with commercial fishermen.

Oregon Sea Grant and Extension have been offering the tours – called Shop at the Dock – every summer in Newport since 2014, but this is the first year the event has expanded to Warrenton. During the tours, participants learn what seafood is in season, how it’s caught, whether it’s sustainable, and how to identify and buy high-quality fish and shellfish. Last year, the tours drew more than 350 people, said Kaety Jacobson, an Oregon Sea Grant marine fisheries specialist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service.

Dates for the remaining Newport tours are July 21 and 28, and Aug. 4, 11 and 18, 2017 with groups departing from dock 5 at 9:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. each day. The 90-minute tours are free and on a first-come, first-served basis. In Newport, registration is required only for groups of five or more by calling 541-574-6534 ext. 57427.

In Warrenton, the remaining tours will take place Sept. 15, 2017, at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. and will include a tour of the Skipanon Brand Seafood cannery. Participants will also learn where they can find locally caught fish in local markets. Tours will start at the Warrenton Marina near the harbormaster’s office at 550 N.E. Harbor Place. For the Warrenton event, registration by phone is required for everyone and is on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, call 503-325-8573.

At both sites, participants are advised to wear comfortable walking shoes with traction, arrive 15 minutes early, and bring cash and a cooler with ice. For disability accommodations, please call the numbers above.

Joe Phillips, of fishing vessel Triggerfish, shows off an albacore tuna during the 2016 Shop at the Dock tours, which were organized by Oregon Sea Grant and Oregon State University’s Extension Service. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum, OSU)

The post Summer 2017 “Shop at the Dock” tours in Newport and Warrenton show consumers how to buy in-season seafood appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

New publication explains how coastal “transient lodging taxes” are collected and used

Breaking Waves - Thu, 07/13/2017 - 3:26pm

A new publication from Oregon Sea Grant, “Transient Lodging Taxes on the Oregon Coast,” provides information about such taxes. The document is intended for operators of hotels, restaurants, and tours, as well as resource managers, county commissioners, city councils, chambers of commerce, visitor centers and elected officials.

Transient lodging taxes are one form of local revenue generated through the tourism industry that can be used to invest in related community-development efforts and promote quality management and further growth in the tourism sector in communities large and small.

The publication was written by Oregon Sea Grant Extension Coastal Tourism Specialist Miles Phillips, and co-written by Graduate Research Assistant Courtney Flathers. It’s the second in a series of three planned publications on coastal tourism; the first was “Agritourism in Oregon’s Coastal Counties: Land Use Policy and Permitting Requirements,” and the third will be about coastal tourism’s economic impacts and wages.

You can download “Transient Lodging Taxes on the Oregon Coast” for free here.



The post New publication explains how coastal “transient lodging taxes” are collected and used appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Meet Oregon Sea Grant’s 2018-19 Knauss Fellowship finalists

Breaking Waves - Wed, 07/12/2017 - 2:52pm

Oregon Sea Grant is pleased and proud to announce that five of its nominees for the 2018-19 John D. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship program have been selected as finalists: Reuben Biel, of Oregon State University; Sabra Tallchief Comet, of Portland State University; Chanté Davis, of Oregon State University; Janan Evans-Wilent, of Oregon State University; and Kathryn McIntosh, of the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College. Congratulations to all!

Reuben Biel

Sabra Tallchief Comet

Chanté Davis

Janan Evans-Wilent

Kathryn McIntosh







To learn more about the Knauss Fellowship program, including how finalists are selected and where they may be placed, read the full news release from NOAA Sea Grant. 

Placement of 2018 Knauss finalists as fellows is contingent on adequate funding in Fiscal Year 2018.

The post Meet Oregon Sea Grant’s 2018-19 Knauss Fellowship finalists appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Are you ready? Let’s go on a Quest!

Breaking Waves - Wed, 07/12/2017 - 1:47pm

The 2017-18 edition of Oregon Sea Grant’s popular “Oregon Coast Quests Book” is now available, featuring 24 Quests in English (three of which are brand new) and one in Spanish. The directions for virtually all of the previous Quests included in the new edition have been updated to reflect changes in site terrain, landmarks, signage and other details, making this book a must-have for avid Questers!

The price for the 222-page book is just $10, and you can buy copies from the retailers listed here.

What is a Quest?

Quests are fun and educational clue-directed hunts that encourage exploration of natural areas. In this self-guided activity, Questers follow a map and find a series of clues to reach a hidden box. The box contains a small guest book, a stamp pad, a unique rubber stamp and additional information about the Quest site. Participants sign the guest book to record their find, and make an imprint of the Quest Box stamp in the back of their clue book as proof of accomplishment. Then the box is re-hidden for the next person to find. The location of the clues and box remain a secret so others can share the fun. Oregon Coast Quest clues and boxes stay in place year-round.

Questing is an ideal place-based activity for individuals, small groups and families. By turning a walk into a treasure hunt, children often race ahead of their parents instead of lagging behind. Through Quests, important areas of natural, cultural and/or historical significance are shared. Furthermore, both those who go on Quests and those who create Quests for others gain pride and a sense of stewardship for their community’s special places.

Production of the Oregon Coast Quests Book 2017-18 was coordinated by Cait Goodwin of Oregon Sea Grant.

The post Are you ready? Let’s go on a Quest! appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Food Science Camp 2013 and Erik Fooladi

Bringing Food Chemistry to Life - Fri, 07/19/2013 - 1:44pm

We participate in the Oregon State U Food Science Camp for middle school students.

Part of the STEM [science technology engineering math] Academies@OSU Camps.

We teach about bread fermentations, yeast converting sugars to CO2 and ethanol, lactobacillus converting sugar to lactic and acetic acids, how the gluten in wheat can form films to trap the gas and  allow the dough to rise. On the way we teach about flour composition, bread ingredients and their chemical functionalities, hydration, the relationships between enzymes and substrates [amylases on starch to produce maltose for the fermentation organisms]; gluten development, the gas laws and CO2′s declining solubility in the aqueous phase during baking which expands the gas bubbles and leads to the oven spring at the beginning of baking; and the effect of pH on Maillard browning using soft pretzels that they get to shape themselves..

All this is illustrated by hands on [in] activities: they experience the hydration and the increasing cohesiveness of the dough as they mix it with their own hands, they see their own hand mixed dough taken through to well-risen bread. They get to experience dough/gluten development in a different context with the pasta extruder, and more and more.

A great way to introduce kids to the relevance of science to their day to day lives: in our case chemistry physics biochemistry and biology in cereal food processing.

We were also fortunate to have Erik Fooladi from Volda University College in Norway to observe the fun: http://www.fooducation.org/

If you have not read his blog and you like what we do here: you should!


endless pasta


Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Good Cheese, Bad Cheese

Bringing Food Chemistry to Life - Wed, 07/10/2013 - 1:25pm

pH, colloidal calcium phosphate, aging, proteolysis, emulsification or its loss and their interactions lead to optimum melting qualities for cheeses. A module in this year’s food systems chemistry class.

This module was informed by this beautiful article “The beauty of milk at high magnification“ by Miloslav Kalab, which is available on the Royal Microscopical Society website.


Of course accompanied by real sourdough wholegrain bread baked in out own research bakery.

Inspired by…

“The Science of a Grilled Cheese Sandwich.”

by: Jennifer Kimmel

in: The Kitchen as Laboratory: Reflections on the Science of Food and Cooking

Edited by Cesar Vega, Job Ubbink, and Erik van der Linden


Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

February 2011- Nutrition Education Volunteers taking “vacation”

Family Food Educators of Central Oregon - Tue, 02/01/2011 - 9:24am

I’m back from maternity leave and getting resettled into some new responsibilities.  We had a staff member leave us, so Glenda and I are having to pick up the work load until we find someone new, or our responsibilites change.  Being a new mom is lots of work too, so I’ve gone part time (24 hours aweek) but am still trying to get everything done… that being said, we’ve decided to put our nutrition education volunteering on hold, until I have a managable workload.

We look forward to being able to start things back up in the summer or fall of 2011.  Thanks so much and since a few of you have been asking, here’s a photo of our boy.  He is 5 months old today!

Bundled out in the cold!

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs